I am a thinker. I am one, almost to a fault. I am also a feeler. Again, I am one, almost to a fault. These are both strengths and weaknesses. I assume that Mary, the mother of Jesus was both a thinker and feeler as well. In verses 8-20 in chapter 2 of Luke, Mary displays these attributes in the midst of heightened circumstances and emotions, in the midst of fear and expectation.
“In the same region there were some shepherds staying out in the fields and keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them; and they were terribly frightened. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people; for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased.” When the angels had gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds began saying to one another, “Let us go straight to Bethlehem then, and see this thing that has happened which the Lord has made known to us.” So they came in a hurry and found their way to Mary and Joseph, and the baby as He lay in the manger. When they had seen this, they made known the statement which had been told them about this Child. And all who heard it wondered at the things which were told them by the shepherds. But Mary treasured all these things, pondering them in her heart. The shepherds went back, glorifying and praising God for all that they had heard and seen, just as had been told them.” Luke 8: 2-20
This story of the shepherds and angels fills me with immense joy and peace. There is such a depth of hope found in the revelation of Christ. This revelation caused sweet Mary to treasure and ponder all that had taken place in her heart.
The shepherds were in position to hear from God.
Positioning is everything. Timing is everything. Although God is patient with us and will give us countless chances to obey Him, where He finds us is of the utmost importance. During this Advent season, we can either be positioned in doubt or expectancy. We can either be positioned in joy or despair. We get to choose where He finds us. Will He find us bowed low in humility and in awe of His grace?
The shepherds immediately obeyed the Word of the Lord.
The angels appeared, spoke truth and disappeared. The shepherds spoke to each other about going in search of the Messiah and then they went. They didn’t hesitate. They didn’t doubt. They didn’t know what lied ahead. All they knew was that Jesus had been born and they needed to find Him. That is all we need to know in this season as well…Jesus has been born and He is to be found by us.
Advent is a time of waiting and anticipation, but it’s not a passive waiting. We actively wait for His coming. We delve into His Word and we lean into His presence. We take time to pause and position ourselves to hear from God. And when we hear that Word, we obey immediately.
This is how we find Him.
This is how we await the coming King.
This is how we become like Mary.
We observe all that God is and all that He has done. Then, we take the time to treasure all of these things in our hearts.
Are you being intentional during this Christmas season about taking the time to ponder the coming of the Savior?